This call to action is intended for Iowa residents.
The Iowa Brewer’s Guild is asking for your support in opposing certain provisions in Amendment S-5084 to HF 2337 (the specific language we are opposed to begins on line 20, page 14 and runs through line 1, page 16) that has been proposed by the Iowa Wine Growers Association. The wineries are hoping to transfer funding and control of the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board out of the state’s Tourism/Economic Development Department and place the funding (and program) under control of the Midwest Wine Institute at Iowa State University.
We are asking you to act immediately. Please contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to remove these provisions from the amendment before taking a vote. Time is of the essence as the amendment is scheduled for a vote this coming Monday, March 19.
We are asking you to express opposition to these provisions because:
1. The Economic Development Authority has been doing a very successful job of promoting BOTH the wine and beer industries and the proposed amendment will transfer the program to the Wine Institute where there is an unproven record of marketing and promotional efforts. The Wine Institute in Iowa is a higher education authority that may not have compatible goals with the beer industry.
2. The brewing industry hasn’t been a participant in discussions and currently doesn’t believe this is in our best interests. Additionally the Iowa Economic Development Authority has expressed opposition and would like to see this halted until all affected parties can come to agreement. Many wineries have also expressed concerns about this legislation.
3. The Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board has spent considerable resources preparing for this year’s programs and promotional efforts. These efforts will be abandoned and wasted if the proposed amendment proceeds. This will be a waste of over $80,000 to the Wine and Beer Promotions Board’s programs.
4. Brewing industry representation on the proposed amendment is assigned by the Wine Institute, not the brewing industry. We feel we are being locked out of support to a legislatively mandated tourism and economic development program that has existed since 1986.
First priority is to contact the senators on the appropriations committee. Here’s the contact information: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/Schedules/committee.aspx?GA=84&CID=2
Again, ask them to remove these provisions from the amendment.
Second priority is to contact all our state senators. You can look up your local senator here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/Legislators/senate.aspx
Thank you for your support of Iowa Beer!
President, Iowa Brewer’s Guild